Recent Posts

“Perfect Day” Sleep Exercise

“Perfect Day” Sleep Exercise

Many years ago, I started a nightly exercise in visualization: I imagine my absolute perfect day as I fall asleep. Over the years, the details have become so crisp, I feel like I’m there inside that made-up moment . When the lights are turned off […]

St. Augustine’s Top Historic Landmark

St. Augustine’s Top Historic Landmark

I’ve always been inexplicably drawn to historic landmarks. There is a specific feeling that surrounds a place rich in story and culture. It fills me with a sense of wonder to walk around the space and allow my mind to imagine the imprint of countless […]

Why is the Pineapple the Symbol for Hospitality?

Why is the Pineapple the Symbol for Hospitality?

Have you ever wondered why pineapples are everywhere from notebook covers to t-shirts? Sure, the same could be said for a myriad of other foods, but there’s no denying the pineapple’s ever-growing popularity. Turns out, it isn’t by coincidence that this fruit is so prevalent in our everyday décor!

Let’s transport our minds back to the 17th century. European powers had begun using their vast wealth to explore the world. As they took to the sea, making landfall in places like Asia, Africa, and the Americas, they established new colonies to hunker down.

These Colonial Era sea captains picked up a tradition we still see in use today. As they returned from their voyages to tropical destinations around the world, they would bring back pineapples. These unusual fruits not only served as proof that long distances were traveled (and long distances = great stories to tell) but also served as a sign of greeting to announce their return home.

The pineapples were then hung on their doors and symbolized their homecoming. They were intended to signify a polite invitation for neighbors who may want to stop by and visit and hear of unimaginable adventure, much in the way we use welcome mats today.

Over time, the pineapple symbol became traditional sign of hospitality. Instead of hanging a real pineapple on one’s door (because let’s be real – those things are tasty), an image of a pineapple would be carved into a door or sign near the front of a home.

What Does Monocle Coast Mean?

What Does Monocle Coast Mean?

Choosing the right name for a business takes considerable thought.  It has to be memorable, but simple.. Unique, but not too far ‘out there’.. It can be nerve-wracking and frustrating when you’re so ready to get started on your business, but are stuck on something […]

Study Abroad Reflections: Life Lessons You Learn While Studying Abroad

Study Abroad Reflections: Life Lessons You Learn While Studying Abroad

The following is an excerpt from a course I completed in 2014, near the end of my Global Studies Bachelor Program. I’ve included it here because it brings back so many fond memories not only of the places we visited, but of the people I […]

I’m 31 and I’ve Had 28 Jobs.

I’m 31 and I’ve Had 28 Jobs.

Last night, standing over the stove waiting on macaroni to boil,  I found myself deep in impromptu career-planning thought. I’ve always felt my career inclinations were stark opposites compared to most people my age. Most have a strong urge to climb the corporate ladder. Most voluntarily stays late every night to “put in hours” to constantly stay on superiors’ radar.  Most are hard-working sacrificers, and relentless go-getters . Most sees value in running themselves thin because they recognize the payout to come down the road in the form of promotions and raises.

I, one the other hand, have no desire to climb any ladders. I have a terrible habit of inadvertently viewing every position as a novelty: once I conquer the basic skills to be successful in a role, I mentally check that off the list and immediately want to move on. It’s like a light switch turns off. Every ounce of desire to perform well and continue to learn goes out the window and is replaced by a desperate urge to never return to that place again.

I do it over and over. It doesn’t matter how “cool” the job is or how badly others would kill for that position, my light switch just shuts off. It usually happens around the 8 month mark.

So here I find myself, 8 months into “amazing” my current role… waiting to make a plate of macaroni, and -out of the blue- telling myself I’m ready [again] to quit my job.. Like, tomorrow.

Which is why I’m 31 and I’ve had 28 jobs.

There was real progression in the early years. When I was younger, I dreamed of polishing my skills as a pastry chef and opening a Bed & Breakfast in a small beach town. But as I grew into a successful, competent chef, a funny thing happened: I realized I wasn’t actually passionate about Pastry.

I realized that when I was in high school, I thought people attended college to study what they were good at, not what they were passionate about. I attended Culinary School because I showed real talent in the kitchen. But the longer I worked as a chef, the clearer it became that my passions were elsewhere.

So back to the drawing board.. I began exploring other career types; experimenting with different roles and industries. I even went back to college for a second degree in Global Studies with a concentration in Human Diversity and Multiculturalism.

And the years passed.

Take a look:

  1. Teddy Bear Factory – Cashier
  2. Logan’s Roadhouse – Hostess
  3. Law Practice – Receptionist
  4. Bi-Lo – Deli Associate
  5. Godiva – Chocolatier (Tallahassee)
  6. Cold Stone Creamery – Cake and Kitchen Manager
  7. Governor’s Club – Asst Pastry Chef
  8. Antonios – Pastry Chef
  9. Cold Stone Creamery – Cashier (Brentwood)
  10. Gaylord Opryland – Pastry Chef
  11. Godiva – Chocolatier, opening manager (Opryland)
  12. Provance Breads – Overnight baker
  13. Norwegian Cruise Lines – Pastry Chef
  14. Chateau Marmont – Executive Pastry Chef
  15. Universal Orlando – Guest Service Cashier
  16. Universal Orlando – Pastry Chef
  17. Godiva – Chocolatier (Orlando)
  18. Baby Cakes – Pastry Chef
  19. Publix – Baker
  20. Gaylord Opryland – ICE! Attendant
  21. Gaylord Palms  – Barista
  22. Gaylord Opryland – ICE! Attendant
  23. Gaylord Opryland – Banquet Server
  24. Gaylord Opryland – ICE! Attendant
  25. Gaylord Opryland – Front Desk Agent
  26. American Cancer Society – Community Manager
  27. Gaylord Opryland – ICE! Attendant
  28. Universal Orlando – Attractions Supervisor

Nothing stuck. I began feeling lost and confused. The older I got, the more apparent it was that my destiny is not a ‘corporate ladder’.

But recently it has occurred to me that “career” is a fluid term. My definition doesn’t have to be the popular definition. I’m tired of beating myself up because I don’t fit the mold everyone uses for “career”. This past year has taught me that I DO still have a lot to offer the world.

Turns out, I’ve learned a substantial amount through these 28 positions: resume proficiency, interview hacks, an endless list of skills in travel and hospitality. And now I’m here to share that knowledge with you. Because unconventional careers are still careers. And together, we can create lives we never dreamed were possible.